Audits of child protection practices, conducted by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, have been published by six dioceses, today. Six reports in one day, that's a lot to process, but at least we can get it over and done with in one go. Here they are Raphoe, Derry, Dromore, Kilmore, Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, Tuam.
At a glance there is a lot of positive information in these reports. Most of the focus will be on the allegations and failures. We must remember, that these allegations and failures are historical. They bear no reflection on how things are in the Church in Ireland today. I firmly believe that the Catholic Church in Ireland is one of the safest places for children today.
In Ireland we have a lot to learn from past failures. Irish sociey, and not just the Church, has been failing children for far too long, hopefully we can all learn from the failures in our past.
It is my hope that the Church’s conscientious efforts to confront this reality will help the broader community to recognize the causes, true extent and devastating consequences of sexual abuse, and to respond effectively to this scourge which affects every level of society. By the same token, just as the Church is rightly held to exacting standards in this regard, all other institutions, without exception, should be held to the same standards. -Pope Benedict XVI November 27th 2011